Silver Stalls Plan to Reduce Garbage Truck Traffic

Under the city’s proposed waste management plan, more trash would be hauled by trains and barges.

Reactivation of a garbage transfer station that the city considers crucial to its waste management plan — a plan it says will reduce truck traffic and allow more waste to be moved by barges and trains — is being held up by three Manhattan Assembly members and Speaker Sheldon Silver, who is characteristically refusing to allow a vote on legislation necessary to move the project forward.

The transfer station, located on Gansevoort Peninsula near West 14th Street, would handle recyclables, and is needed as part of an effort to have each borough handle more of its own garbage. Officials say the station will ease the environmental stress of waste disposal activity in areas like the South Bronx, where much of the city’s trash is now hauled by truck.

Assembly members Deborah Glick, Richard Gottfried and Linda Rosenthal, whose districts include or are close to the peninsula, say they don’t want the station reactivated because of its Hudson River Park location, and have suggested Pier 76, north of West 34th Street behind the Javits Center, as an alternative. The city says it would cost three to five times as much to prep Pier 76 as it would the Gansevoort site.

The waste management plan as proposed would reduce truck traffic by an estimated 5.7 million miles per year, according to PlaNYC documents.

Supporters of the city’s plan are encouraged to call Silver’s office (212-312-1420 or 518-455-3791) today and ask for a vote on the amendment to the Hudson River Park Act.

The Post has endorsed the plan and has called on Silver to get out of the way. The Times did much the same yesterday. For more background, check out City Room’s coverage and this June editorial from Daily News columnist Errol Louis.

Photo: Phil of Photos/Flickr

  • ddartley

    Here’s an issue to lobby your Assembly Rep on: give the Speaker job to someone other than Silver.

  • gecko

    Thanks for the number to register my vote for the waste management station at Ganesvoort with Silver.

  • Budrick

    ddartley–won’t happen. Silver controls the State Assembly with an obstructionist power-broker iron fist. Some assembly members tried to mutiny a few years back, but he found out and outmaneuvered them. Now those assembly members’ districts won’t see their fair share of the pork until they’re gone from office.

    Everybody’s afraid of ol’ Shelly Silver up in Albany. He won’t be gone until he CHOOSES to be gone.

  • Brooklyn

    Here’s a conflict of cyclist/pedestrian interest — placing this at either 14th or 34th means beaucoup garbage trucks crossing the Hudson River Path to reach the transfer station.

    Can’t tell you the last time I rode my bike or took a leisurely stroll in the South Bronx.

  • vnm


    The mayor’s plan reduces the amount of greenhouse gases emitted in conjunction with trash movement. This may inconvenience some recreational cyclists in selected locations, but it achieves the overall greatest good for the greatest number.

    I ride my bike and stroll through my neighborhood in the South Bronx every day, but seldom use the greenway, so there.

  • Madam Bomb

    This posting is so one-sided. It doesn’t recognize that there are several alternatives to this plan, including putting a transfer station in the rail yards that are to be decked over for development in midtown west. Also, it neglects to mention that putting the transfer station on gansevoort would require a change to the Hudson River Park Act that implicitly calls for that area to become parkland. That’s legislation that would require a vote in the assembly and senate and it isn’t worth blowing political capital on.

    It’s interesting that this blog, which often is going on and on about the traffic crossing the bike lanes on the westside, makes no mention of the fact that keeping this site there endangers bicyclists and pedestrians (a few have been killed in this area remember??) and was one of the key reasons it was to be decommissioned in the first place. I know that blogs are just opinionated tripe often times, but this posting seems to be some call-to-action that is seriously lopsided.

  • Hilary

    In my experience, the bicycle advocates have not always been the best friends of parks. In fact, they have been known to sell them out.

  • Fair Trash

    Madam Bomb,

    The HRPA amendment is exactly what the vote is about and that’s clear from the links. And the so-called alternatives are red herrings that have been debunked as operationally impossible, prohibitively expensive or both.

    Options were thoroughly studied and moving on this is long overdue.

  • Barnacle Bill

    MAdam Bomb is right, the posting is biased and one-sided.

    Why would anyone want a garbage dump in a park?
    A park born from the defeat of Westway?
    The alternative further north – at the towing pound – is welcomed by the community board there
    Only Bloomberg and his girlfriend are calling it a red herring.

    The 1997 law clearly states NO Garbage Dump on Gansevoort. You don’t like it buddy, change the law instead of writing lies on this blog.

    We fought to kill Westway, get a green park along the Hudson, and think we are going to let this garbage dump go unchallenged.

    We LOVE Shelly Silver. That is why his constituents – like me – vote for him year after year. He delivers. He killed the West Side Stadium. He will kill this stupid scheme.

    Go Shelly!

  • SPer

    Silver just protects his own. He has no regard for the rest of the city. Silver okayed Atlantic Yards. I hate him for that.

  • drose

    As one who rides the Hudson River path every day to work, I can confirm that there are plenty of garbage trucks at the Gansevoort site already, and they do cross the path when there is a green light in their direction. That’s right, there is a signal already there for trucks, so any bicyclist should know enough to stop when it’s red in their direction.

    Despite having to cross over the driveways of two of these garbage facilities every day (59th St also), I am in favor of them because it is absolutely illogical and discriminatory to foist Manhattan’s trash and garbage trucks on the residents of other boroughs. Also, the fact that Gansevoort will be servicing recyclable items instead of normal trash should remove the pest and smell issues from the litany of excuses the few opponents to this plan continually wail about. I do hope that the trucks being used to cart the recycling do get converted over to some form of biodiesel/hybrid technology sooner rather than later. But the fact that total Vehicle Miles Traveled will be cut by this siting option is a good start. Hopefully Silver will move this plan through today at last.

  • Larry Littlefield

    If this is voted down, the right thing to do is to proceed with the rest of the plan for garbage in the other boroughs, continue to ship Manhattan’s garbage by truck through those boroughs.

    Te money allocated for the Manhattan transfer stations in a separate, interest bearing account. Specifications for those transfer stations should be published. If the transfer stations in the other boroughs have cost over-runs, the amount in the Manhattan transfer station account should be increased by the same amount.

    The city should then announce that as soon as the state turns over to the city operating Manhattan transfer stations consistent with the specifications, they will be used. The state could choose either site, or buy another.

    Meanwhile, as soon as the outer-borough transfer stations are finished, some of the investment income on the Manhattan fund should be used to send an annual letter to the people of the city.

    The letter would state that garbage from Manhattan continues to be shipped by truck through neighborhoods in the other boroughs consistent with the values of the Democratic party and liberalism as they exist in the City of New York in general, and the city’s representatives in the state legislature in particular.

  • Bronxite

    And the principle of protecting parkland from alienation is worthless? Good people in the Bronx know that this Mayor will tell a community that “there’s no alternative.” After the filtration plant in Van Cortlandt Park and Yankee Stadium allowed to displace two beautiful parks, they know better.

  • Westside Highway aint over I guess

    What happened to Marcy Beirstock when we need her??

  • Barnacle Bill

    #14 Very, very funny.

    I guess she crawled back into the woodwork with Ben Green

  • a

    Barnacle Bill, don’t you think a much wider park over a buried westawy would have been many times better than the thin strip we have now right next to a 6 lane highway?

  • Hilary

    I think in hindsight everyone would agree with you, a. But there was too much fear that the waterfront would be privatized by development along the edge, and the city’s transit was desperately in need of at least some part of the money. The promise of a “boulevard” at grade, landscaped and with boulevard-like streetscaping, was the compromise. ANd the park and the greenway. That is why I am sympathetic to those who defend that narrow strip fiercely (and those in State DOT who defend the dark green streetlight fixtures from City DOT who would replace them with standard yellow.) It’s a slippery slope.

  • Angus Grieve-Smith

    I don’t agree, Hilary. The “boulevard” can one day be scaled back to a reasonable size, perhaps with a trolley like in Paris. It would have been almost impossible to scale back a six-lane tunnel – I suppose you could have filled it with freight tracks or something.

  • jmc

    The filtration plant is necessary infrastructure for public health, and so is a waste plan. The Bronx would benefit the most from the solid waste management plan as it bears most of the garbage truck traffic!

  • drosejr


    But you are forgetting. Shelly Silver does not care about the Bronx. He only cares about 107 people in this world, and they all work in Albany as Democratic assemblymembers. Everyone else just revolves in orbit around him.

  • Madam Bomb

    Fair Trash-

    The alternatives have not been vetted well enough and that is what Silver knows and that’s why he is holding this up. See the Times piece today. It is clear, and if you’ve attended the numerous community board and other meetings around this, that the Mayor doesn’t want to hear alternatives. He is obstinate and wants it done his way. Much to his peril (see the West Side Stadium or Olympics bid.)

    We all talk about sharing the load and such. Well, how about we take some of the tunnel traffic on 7th Avenue and shove it into the Bronx? How about we move the MeatPacking mayhem and put that in Staten Island? Or could we share the amount of tourists that encircle and entangle the Village nightly? Or maybe we could put the Westside Highway in Central Park!

    The entire city has things that other neighborhoods have to endure for the benefit of the rest of the city (for instance, The Village contributes many more tax dollars for film permits, than most areas of the city). I’m not saying that we shouldn’t keep trash transmission as local as possible, but why is it so important to alter a much fought for piece of legislation when there are not one, but several alternatives that obviously have not been properly thought through because of the mayor’s foot stomping. It’s odd that TA tends to fight for cyclist rights, but on this issue has come down on the wrong side for pedestrians and cyclists. It IS about reducing truck traffic in one area, but is increases it in another area which was suppose to have a decrease.

  • Be Honest

    Because TA tends to have tunnel vision. It is a bike advocacy organization. It’s too bad that NY4P isn’t as strong on protecting parks. And the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance in protecting waterfronts. That’s the way it goes.

  • gecko

    The leaders in this town should be aggressively seeking solutions and not blundering about and getting the way.

    The ultimate end for that sliver of two-thirds acre of Gansevoort park is underwater the way things are going now.

    There needs to be a massive public education program to explain the scale and urgency of the climate change crisis; especially to our leaders.

    … to create a high level of cohesion among everyone and sense of purpose.


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